First Lady Rachel Ruto 'adopted' 494 acres of Kakamega forest, what does this mean?

First Lady Rachel Ruto 'adopted' 494 acres of Kakamega forest, what does this mean?

First Lady Rachel Ruto.

When First Lady Rachel Ruto on Monday announced that she has "adopted 200 hectares (494 acres) in the Kakamega forest for re-afforestation", it became a mind-bending task for many trying to debunk what it really meant.

Mama Rachel's initiative, she explained, is aimed at protecting the environment in the country and also encouraged like-minded Kenyans to partner with her in restoring forests.

In a bid to debunk the conundrum, here is what Tree Adoption is, rather here is what Mama Rachel did.

Tree Adoption.

Tree Adoption is the process of restoring and preserving a tree by supporting its arborist care and the horticulture team that nourishes and looks after the tree on a daily basis.

An arborist is a specialist who dedicates their career to the care of trees. 

When adopting a tree, one commits to taking care of an already developed or maturing tree for an indefinite ultimatum. Basically one gets to "own" a tree and take good care of it.

Tree adoption can be done collectively or individually.

The same applies to when one adopts land for the purpose of planting trees.

In Mama Rachel's case, the adoption period will only allow her to preserve and restore trees on the 494 acres and not own the portion.

Why it is important.

Planting trees provides room for social and economic impacts in society by empowering local farmers to develop sustainable livelihoods.

Forests also provide a habitat for biodiversity, serving as a home for birds and other wildlife.

With a dwindling number of water catchment areas in the nation, farming has been largely affected and also led to the existence of severe drought.

Large-Scale deforestation has also led to the destruction of habitat for wildlife ultimately affecting tourism.

The growth of industrialization has also led to large-scale carbon emissions leading to weather changes, health hazards and changes in ecosystems.

With the aforementioned illustrations, tree adoption is one of the best ways to slow down the Earth's greenhouse effect which leads to global warming.

It also provides room for sensitization on the importance of preserving and protecting the environment. This is already being practiced in schools and forest reserves in Kenya.

Do more Tree Adoption

Kenya's forest cover was at one point 30% and by 1963 it dropped to 10% and now sits at 7.6% with a high probability of dropping again given the current climatic conditions.

In a bid to combat the crisis, among them a drought never experienced in 40 years, the government has introduced a tree-planting policy.

The policy, which will see the growth and restoration of trees, is targeting to have 15 billion trees planted by 2032.

The initiative requests each individual living in Kenya to plant 100 trees in 10 years. 

Mama Rachel, in a different initiative under the Office of the First Lady, has committed to grow 500 million trees by 2032.

The move is projected to upscale tree cover to over 10% by the aforesaid year.

The tree adoption initiative has been lobbied by a few institutions over the years in the fight against climate change.


Climate Change Citizen TV Citizen Digital Tree Adoption

Want to send us a story? SMS to 25170 or WhatsApp 0743570000 or Submit on Citizen Digital or email

Leave a Comment


No comments yet.

latest stories